Oh, hey. Is the weekend really already over? How was yours? We put together IKEA furniture (yup, still buying it) and hung stuff on the walls and tried to play catch up. Johnny and I have been pretty sucky at this whole blogging thing lately. But lest you think we’re dwindling off the face of the earth, I just wanted to remind you about that one time when we had a crazy move. and a layoff. and a pet dinosaur. Or maybe just a seven-month-old.
But we’ve kept track of every cent of our budget this month, the cheap ($125 second-hand arm chair!) and the not-so-cheap ($300 Costco run?!). So there’s that. But until we’re back on track with posting and commenting (we’re readin’ every word you say), we’d like to hear from you.
So it’s time for a little show and tell. Except it’s all telling and no showing.
- Highlight of your weekend.
- Proudest budget/financial accomplishment in the last month?
- A Nigerian Prince wishes to send you a $5000 gift card to one store of your choosing. Which is it?
- Skim, 1%, 2%, or whole?
- I know we’ve asked this before, but it’s helpful: is there any specific topic(s) you’d like to see us cover?
We’ll go first.
- A rousing, three-hour game of cornhole (Joanna doesn’t like the name “cornhole” and wants me to put “toss” after it, but I’m not budging — cornhole.).
- Putting my big boy pants on by rolling over my old employer’s 401k to a Roth IRA.
- My brain says Amazon or Costco. My heart says the LEGO store. And in this case, the heart wins. Thank you, Mr. Nigerian Prince for the tens of thousands of plastic toy bricks.
- 2%. I’m not a big fan of cloudy, white water.
- How young is too young before you put your baby to work?
- Not dying driving home through the mountains in the scariest storm ever. Seriously, it was really scary.
- Being approved for my very own airline rewards credit card (I’ve had issues). And a friendly reminder on our feelings about credit cards here.
- J. Crew. It would be a welcome trip back to a store I haven’t allowed myself to step foot in since my irresponsible spending days.
- 1%. I was raised on skim, so this is my way of rebelling (I know, I’m pretty edgy).
- I’ve had an itch to run with this for a while: delving into the budgets of non-personal finance bloggers.
That’s enough from our boring fingers. Now it’s your turn!
1. highlight of my weekend-getting back into pole dancing classes (for exercise and fun purposes-not to make money purposes)
2. being responsible and setting up my salary to pay 26 weeks instead of the 21 weeks that i’ve usually done. now, i wont have to worry about a summer job next summer and can take the time off. (one of the perks about being a teacher)
3. target. or tjmaxx. crap. this is a tough one. i’ll go with target. you can get anything and everything there
4. skim. anything else is too creamy and thick. that should be reserved for ice cream only
5. i love the topics that cover the “stuff they dont teach you in college” like what an insurance plan is…or how a 401k really works. (seriously, there should be a course in college that goes over basic personal finances.)
I agree. I graduated 5 years ago this December, and I am now looking at Personal Finance classes at the local universitys and community colleges. I’m really interested in the Georgetown Financial Planning certificate program. It covers basic stuff, but also stuff such as investing/401ks/retirement/etc.
2. Awesome! Summertime and the livin’s easy — at least for you.
4. Milk should taste more like ice cream than water.
5. Thanks for the feedback! And yes, I’d have gotten a lot more out of a personal finance prereq than my Astronomy class.
1. Getting an email that I might be the perfect fit for a house cleaning business. It might not be my dream job, but it’s a job…I’ve been hunting for months and applied for a gazillion jobs!
2. Spending only about $250 on groceries for the whole month instead of our $400 budget!
3. Is there a Sallie Mae store? If not, then a furniture store.
4. 2% or whole. For those that like 1% or skim, just add water. 🙂
5. I know it’s a while off but when your baby starts talking you should interview her, ask her questions about PF stuff just for kicks. Kids say the darnedest things.
2. Double hooray!
5. Such a great suggestion. Those posts might replace all other posts.
1. Just came back from New Orleans! 🙂
2. This was a little over a month ago, but paying off my student loans definitely was awesome.
3. Banana Republic or Jcrew!
5. Keep doing what you’re doing! 🙂
Paying off student loans is well within the one-month+ grace window. Congrats x 100,000 (or whatever extravagant student loan amount you rocked down to zero)! Awesome news.
1. That’s a tough one. Unfortunately, we had a funeral to attend out of town but on the way home my husband began talking about where he wants us to be in 20-25 years and for him that’s huge.
2. Sadly, August has been a not so good budget/financial month for us but we sat down and created our September budget and I feel pretty good about it
3. Amazon!!! I can buy anything and everything I need there
4. Almond milk! I know, I know, that wasn’t an option but I don’t drink a whole lot of cow’s milk; however my husband and two kids go through 2-3 gallons a week, and I usually buy 1% or 2% for them (whichever one has been marked down due to an impending expiration date since I know it will be gone before that date anyways I have no probably with buying it. It typically is half the price of the “new” milk. lol)
5. A little more indepth about investing. I know we should, but I’m a bit clueless on it so it actually makes me nervous. Oh, and finding the best retirement plan when you’re job doesn;t offer one or you work for yourself. Ooops! Was that more than one topic? 😉
2. That’s a really good attitude. And that’s more or less the boat we’re in since moving always messes with our budget.
4. You’ve made a great argument for having more kids. Or at least kids that like milk. I like the sound of half price milk.
5. Great suggestions. We’re novices in investing, too, so at the very least, it’d be a good journey to document here.
1. Getting a new belt at Fossil for $11 (they last for.ev.er) and having a peanut butter flavored soft-serve ice cream cone with rainbow sprinkles.
2. I sold my condo, and I finally set up a budget in YNAB and have been diligently entering my expenses to track my spending. Previously, I had only been using it to make sure I didn’t overdraft my account because I forgot about future expenses.
3. Does Piperlime count? If so, Piperlime. Zac Posen LBD here I coooooooooome.
4. 2%. Everything else tastes weird.
5. Favorite ice-cream flavor.
1. I’ve had my Fossil wallet for… 6 years now. That’s like a 100 years old in wallet years.
2. Congrats! Huge accomplishments!
3. I had to ask Joanna what Piperlime was and she said, “Heck yes.” So I guess it does.
1. Two hours of doubles tennis with my husband and two male friends.
2. Reaching 1 year’s salary in Roth IRAs (only took 6 years and we’ve been in grad school the whole time!).
3. Amazon. Or does Craiglist offer gift cards? 🙂
4. I stopped drinking milk years ago. Too much sugar.
5. How you adapt your budget after a move – or do you throw the old one out completely?
2. Awesome. We’re only now getting started in this department, so kudos to you for being so ahead of the game.
3. I’ll have to ask my Nigerian prince.
5. Awesome suggestion. Thanks.
1. My highlight – I’ve managed to shake a month long headache, really…
2. Proudest budget accomplishment – keeping to a £10 per day holiday budget, it’s hard to keep the kiddies entertained in the summer hols. With this is mind ill skip to number 5.
5. What would i like you guys to do – Can you cover ideas for cheap days out/activities for the summer hols? Preferably those which can be used outside the US (I’m in the UK).
3. My Nigerian benefactor – John Lewis, a department store in the UK, does lovely clothes and really well made furniture, mamma would like a new sofa.
4. 2% or semi as we call it here, there doesn’t seem to be much point to go lower, bleurch!
1. Ugh… that’s rough! Glad it’s gone.
5. Great suggestion. And we’ll definitely try to keep geography-ambigious.
4. Amen and amen.
1. Highlight of my weekend was my husband and I getting to meet our best friends’ baby boy for the first time. He was so much fun and so handsome.
2. This month we hit the half way point of our savings goal and we only started really putting money away effectively in February. We are pretty stoked about it at my house.
3. I would really love a $5000 gift card to the Vera Bradley store. I only splurge on one thing and that is very pretty carry-on luggage. That sounds totally petty and irresponsible, but it’s my fantasy so I am not sorry. But I might also consider making it an Amazon gift card so I could purchase other things as well as pretty luggage.
4. I have been working on making the switch to 1% because I don’t taste a difference between 1% and 2% but the fat content is immensely better with 1%. We are trying to be healthy, but my husband fights me to whole way.
5. I really like hearing about your real life experiences in learning how to navigate the complications of the financial world. I am always looking for advice on how to make wise choices regarding retirement savings, budgeting, insurance, and anything that sounds really boring and lame. It is helpful to hear and learn from what others are doing both right and wrong.
2. You have great reason to be stoked. Congrats!
3. No judging on my end. If you remember, I’m the one who asked for a gift card to a glorified toy store for kids.
4. I can do 1%. That’s the compromise we’ve made in our house and I’m alright with it.
1. This weekend was actually pretty low-key. The highlight was just puttering around and getting stuff done!
2. Staying within our budget on our two week vacation driving across the country and back. It felt good calculating out all the expenses and seeing that August’s budget wasn’t going to be screwed because of it. Yay for budgets!
3. A local store that features local designers. They have amazing things that are always very flattering and fun, but it’s so expensive!!
4. I only use cow’s milk for cooking now, but it’s full fat all the way. Less fat in food just generally means more sugar. Besides, if you don’t use it that often, it ain’t gonna kill you. I have the same philosophy with yogurt, which I eat pretty much every day. Plain, full fat all the way!
5. I’m getting more interested in retirement saving, as that’s going to be my focus after the debt is paid. But, I think our system is different than what Americans do. (I hear 401k and think highway, not retirement!).
2. Few things are sweeter than setting and hitting a budget. Especially when it’s budgeting for a fun vacation.
4. I like you’re thinking. You may have converted me to go full hog… err, cow.
5. Hahaha. “Just merge on the 401k and then take the offramp on exit 403B.”
Just a note that something else I’d be interested in learning more about is how you two manage with joint finances. I’m thinking about the future with my boyfriend, and we have very different approaches to money. He’s never had to worry, so doesn’t even budget; I have had to worry a lot, so I am a bit fanatical about budgeting, saving, and generally being a cheapo. I’m worried about how on earth we would make it work. What was that journey like for the two of you?
1. working my last sunday EVER! (that’s the plan, anyway…just turned in my notice at my weekend job)
2. two weeks’ worth of groceries for under $75, including 3 gallons of milk and enough meat to have 1 lb every night
3. should probably say costco or even amazon or something…but i’m gonna go with anthropologie. but actually, even goodwill would be pretty awesome!
4. i much prefer whole, but my husband drinks so much that i usually try to get 2% so we don’t die or whatever
5. this isn’t very specific, but i’d love to see how you save money in basically every particular area of your budget. also, how does your “everything else” work, specifically? i’m slightly anal but have just put all of our categories that you classify as “everything else” behind an “everything else” tab, hoping to allow a little more freedom in those areas.
p.s. this was fun!
1. Congrats on having your weekend (or at least half of it) back!
2. Mmmmm… 1 lb of meat every night. Mind if I join you?
3. Joanna high fives you on Anthropologie. I high five you on Goodwill.
5. Great suggestion. Keep an eye out for a post about this soon.
I love these posts! 🙂
1. Getting together with the entire extended family to celebrate my cousin’s graduation.
2. This will sound kind of strange, but learning to relax/spend some money! I feel like most of the time I’m very stringent about saving, which isn’t very fun. So it was nice to treat some friends (and myself!) to meals. 🙂
3. Well thanks, Nigerian prince! I’ll take an Amazon gift card for sureeee.
4. I can’t drink anything but skim! I remember during snack time in elementary school, they kept trying to force 1% (or 2%?) on us and I couldn’t take it. Way too fatty for my taste. 🙁
5. How much you love Credit Karma?! Just kidding. I actually really like all your baby posts even though I’m nowhere near that stage of my life.
2. Sooo important. Budgeting doesn’t have to be miserable. And neither should spending. Awesome to hear you’re finding your balance.
4. Maybe you were just freaked out that it didn’t taste like water 🙂
5. We really do love CK. And our baby. But CK more. Kidding.
1. My little guy standing under his own power for a good 15 seconds before realizing he was doing it and promptly falling down
2.Proudest budget/financial accomplishment in the last month? Cashing in my latest credit card churn for $1500+ worth of hotels for an out of pocket cost of $125 😀
3.A Nigerian Prince wishes to send you a $5000 gift card to one store of your choosing. Which is it? Would an airline count as a store? No? Then I guess give me Kohl’s or something.
4.Skim, 1%, 2%, or whole? I have been drinking more whole recently since that is what my little guy drinks
5.I know we’ve asked this before, but it’s helpful: is there any specific topic(s) you’d like to see us cover? LEVAR BURTON or ROBOTS or ZOMBIE LEVAR BURTON ROBOTS…
1. Haha. Awesome. Our girl just learned how to get in the crawling position but doesn’t quite understand how to go forward. So she ends up doing these weird push ups for like 10 seconds at a time. It’s actually pretty impressive.
2. As soon as we buy a house and I don’t fret over every single credit score point, I’m going to have you teach me your churning jedi ways.
5. It’s like you’ve journeyed to darkest corners of my brain and extracted my exact thoughts.
1. Two highlights actually – 1. attending the Packers preseason game on Friday and 2. hanging out at a friends farm for a barn party 🙂
2. Proudest budget/financial accomplishment in the last month? – Actually setting up a budget to see where all our money was going!
3. I would have to say Amazon as I love going on Amazon to find the best deals on things (not only for myself but for friends!)
4. I don’t drink milk but when I did it was skim. I grew up with it, although I don’t mind 1%.
5. I would have to agree with some other people that have posted about the real life applications of things. I love reading about your adventures of debt, moving, saving, and of course baby girl and the expenses relating to that, hah. It’s all been great!
1. Packers game > Barn party. But both are cool.
2. Awesome! Now is always the best time to start.
5. Thanks for the feedback!
1. Biking 14 miles through trails by myself. I usually go with my significant other, but he pushed himself and did the hills portion of the trails.
2. Re-setting my W-4 after my wage increase last year. Getting my taxes in order is a big win!
3. Someone mentioned airline account – that’s a good one. But I’ll have to go with Amazon. You can just get EVERYTHING!
4. Soy/Almond milk. I’m lactose intolerant. Once you switch, it’s actually really good.
5. You mention using airline credit cards to fund holiday vacations. More on how you score the best deals, what you eat and what you do?
1. Woahh, awesome job.
2. It’s amazing the amount of stress that stupid W-4 can cause or alleviate. Just filled mine out last week and feeling good about avoiding as much of the taxman come April as possible.
4. Almond milk kinda creeped me out at first, but I think I’ll give it another shot.
5. Thanks for the suggestion.
1. Saturday afternoon visiting & talking with my brother & sisters, nieces & nephews for my youngest nephew’s birthday party! We’re not all together often enough~ and I loved it.
2. Helping my older son with his budget & getting 2 of his bills totally paid off. WIN!
3. AMAZON! Seriously, I love Amazon & I can get nearly everything I ever need there~ I don’t usually buy my clothes there, but that would free up whatever money I need to spend elsewhere… 😉
4. Skim~ I grew up on whole milk & eventually moved to 2%, then 1%. I really prefer Skim.
5. I want to hear how you’re going about making friends & creating a new support system in a new state and what you’re doing for fun.
1. Family is pretty awesome, huh?
2. Major win! Congrats!
5. As soon as we figure all that stuff out, it’d make for a great post. Thanks!
1. Stand-up paddleboarding with the family at the lake. Beautiful day. Best day of summer yet.
2. More like a lucky financial surprise – hubby’s bonus at work.
4. 2% or whole organic. If I could get pastured raw I would but it is illegal here. What is this, communist China?
1. I still really want to try it. Looks really fun.
2. Can’t beat bonuses.
4. Haha. Sounds like you need to get yourself a cow.
1. Eating gelato at the marina after attending a civil marriage ceremony at the Norwegian Folk Museum.
2. ehm.. No comment!
3. I know it´s not a store, but it´s a place to spend money so I´d choose Norwegian Airlines (they fly all over the world!:-D)
4. 1 %!
5. funny stories about whatever comes to mind.
2. There’s always September. 🙂
3. The Nigerian Prince approves this purchase.
4. It’s 1% better than skim, but 1% worse than 2%. 🙂
1: An unexpected stay in a mansion on a lake and lots of Pinot Noir!
2: Realizing I get paid 3x this month and therefore can zero-out all of my Mint budgets!
3: Joss and Main, Amazon, Sephora (although, that’s a LOT of mascara!) or Ikea (you got me thinking).
5: I like Joanna’s idea of interviewing other bloggers about their finances. I volunteer as tribute!
1. Geez. That’s an OK weekend, I guess. 🙂
2. The bonus paycheck months are always awesome.
3. Joanna approves of your choices.
1. 36 holes of action packed disc golf (yeah…I’m officially addicted to it.)
2. $17 pants. Seriously, pants are expensive.
3. Express. Or Macy’s. I need pants!! All mine are too big :(.
4. Raised on 2%, converted to skim, now I’m lactose intolerant so it doesn’t even matter.
5. What people typically use their credit card reward points on.
1. Disc golf is pretty awesome. I, however, am not awesome at disc golf.
3. Get yourself some pants, dude. I don’t want to hear a story on the news about a pantsless disc golfer on the loose.
4. I blame the skim. It’s all the skim’s fault.
1. Yesterday we took a little day trip out to the beach and had a lot of fun. Even though we were stuck in traffic for two hours both ways it was worth it.
2. Continuing to make extra payments on my student loans.
3. Amazon or Target!
4. 2%, but I don’t really like milk unless it’s with cereal. I cannot drink it straight.
5. Investing; cost of living/lifestyle differences you’ve run into with the move. I also liked Joanna’s idea!
1. I’m getting crankier about traffic as I age. I don’t want to be that cranky guy who honks at no one and everyone at the same time. Going to the beach more would probably prevent that.
4. You make it sound like it’s a hard liquor. 🙂
5. Great tips, thanks.
1. A fabulous 40 mile bike ride with my sweetie.
2. Err.. umm… Well, I did make myself fill out insurance claim forms for my 2 sick kitties vet bills…. not exactly an accomplishment, but I’m sure glad I have the insurance!
3. Amazon. Did you know you can buy cat food online and they’ll deliver it for free with supersaver shipping? 🙂
4. Whole all the way baby! I was raised on skim milk and HATED it. Then I went to Norway and had whole milk from grass fed cows for the first time ever… I was like “You’re kidding… this can’t be milk, it’s delicious!” Of course I am lactose intolerant, but if I down a few Lactaid pills I’m OK.
5. Actually, I like everything you guys write… just keep it up! 🙂
1. Geez. Suddenly my taking the stairs instead of the elevator today doesn’t seem so laborious.
2. That’s definitely an accomplishment. We should probably look into insurance for our cat, as well.
3. Yes! AND we do our cat litter from Amazon. I pity the UPS man who has to deliver that 40lb box to our door.
1. Doggy sitting our daughter’s little woofer while she’s away in Seattle, representing her company, playing a promotional round of golf with women’s pro golfer Stacy Lewis
2. Despite spending $3000 on outdoor project materials (as I continue to upgrade our house exterior surroundings), it was adequately covered by passive income earned from investments.
3. Canadian Tire – here in Canada, the handyman’s “toy store” (and, although retired, where I still continue to get my generous employee discount on all purchases) 🙂
4. skim (based on boss lady’s orders)
5. where you guys see yourselves in the next 5 years (ie., any long term plans made?)
1. I wrote an ad celebrating Stacy Lewis’ #1 ranking earlier this year! That’s awesome you played with her. You’re pretty much famous.
3. Two thumbs up.
4. That’s one tough boss lady. You could always just buy 2% or whole and pour water in hers to keep her satisfied. 🙂
Sadly it wasn’t I who played golf with Stacy Lewis but our daughter. The only round of golf that I ever played (in my mis-spent youth) was when I shot 90 for 9 holes! 🙂
1. Helping wiht Freshman move in on campus! I work as a campus missionary, so this is the busiest time of the school year for me as we welcome all the new kids 🙂
2. Packing lunch and eating at home instead of eating on campus every day.
3. Anthropologie. I have weaknesses for pretty dresses, unnecessary notepads, and cute dresser knobs.
5. Anything that has to do with your adorable baby. And maybe how you grocery shop/meal plan. And then more pics of your baby.
2. That’s still one of our biggest money savers.
3. I get you on the unnecessary notepad thing. I can’t get enough notebooks. Dresser knobs and dressers? That’s more Joanna’s department.
5. All baby pics, all the time. No more words. Got it! 🙂 Thanks for the suggestions.
1. Think I’d have to choose the moment when I told some folks from choir that I’ll be participating in the 3-day-novel contest next weekend. Hilarious reactions, really, right down to jaws nearly hitting the table. Even more funny since I still have absolutely no clue what I’m going to write about, or even what genre I’m going to attempt.
2. Well, it’s about a week over a month ago but I made the final payment off my credit card. That felt good. One overdrawn bank account to go and I will be debt-free.
4.Whole (and non-pasteurised/non-homogenised/non-UHT). I will admit to sometimes using half-milk and half-water for my porridge sometimes – that’s basically skimmed, right?
5. I’m terribly nosy so always interested in posts about everyday stuff like food budgets or exact breakdowns of what gets spent in a week and that kind of thing.
1. That’s awesome. What a fun challenge!
2. Woohoo! Way to go!
3. Hahaha. YES.
5. Great feedback, thanks.